Feb. 27, 2013
PHILADELPHIA, PA. -- Penn narrowly won the doubles point before picking up wins in four close singles matches to record a 5-2 victory over the Navy men's tennis team Wednesday afternoon at the Levy Tennis Pavilion in Philadelphia, Pa.
"It was a long, tough match," said Navy head coach John Officer. "Both teams played extremely well. It was another Navy vs. Penn battle. We have had a lot of them over the years.
"We lost to Penn last year by the score of 4-3, and Penn is better this season."
Navy (7-6) nearly came away with the doubles point against Penn (5-1). Navy's No. 1 tandem of Calvin Mark (So., Union City, Calif.) and Peter McDonald (So., Chapel Hill, N.C.) posted a 9-7 win over Zach Katzx and Nikola Kocovic. The match at No. 2 doubles was equally tight, with Penn's team of Mark Milbrandt and Blaine Willenborg recording an 8-6 win over Alex Gaines (Fr., Wilmington, N.C.) and Austin Jones (Fr., Dallas, Texas). That left the match at the No. 3 flight to determine the doubles point, and it would be extended into a tiebreaker. Penn's Vim De Alwis and Austin Kaplan would prevail over Blake Daniel (So., Overland Park, Kan.) and Nicholas Gutsche (Sr., Sarasota, Fla.) by the score of 7-3.
"We had our chances in doubles," said Officer. "And the singles were extremely close, too."
The Quakers would go on to win three singles matches in three sets -- one of which was decided in a third-set tiebreaker and another that saw the score in the third set be 7-5 -- while the Mids picked up a straight-set win by McDonald at No. 2 singles and a three-set victory by Gaines at No. 6 singles.
"Alex played really well for us," said Officer. "He hasn't played a lot of singles this year, but he stepped in and did an excellent job for us.
"I feel if we can play at this level the rest of the year, we will be a tough team to beat. I am disappointed in the loss, but I am proud of how we stepped up and battled. We had our chances."
Navy will be home for a pair of matches Sunday against Delaware (Noon) and Coppin State (5 p.m.) at the Tose Family Tennis Center.
Penn (5-1) def. Navy (7-6), 5-2
Doubles -- Penn wins the doubles point (1-2-3)
1. Mark, Calvin / McDonald, Peter (NAVY) def. Katz, Zach / Kocovic, Nikola (PENN) 9-7
2. Milbrandt, Mark / Willenborg, Blaine (PENN) def. Gaines, Alex / Jones, Austin (NAVY) 8-6
3. De Alwis, Vim / Kaplan, Austin (PENN) def. Daniel, Blake / Gutsche, Nicholas (NAVY) 9-8 (7-3)
1. Kocovic, Nikola (PENN) def. Mark, Calvin (NAVY) 6-3, 6-4
2. McDonald, Peter (NAVY) def. Willenborg, Blaine (PENN) 6-2, 6-3
3. Katz, Zach (PENN) def. Jones, Austin (NAVY) 4-6, 6-1, 7-5
4. Lahlou, Ismael (PENN) def. Daniel, Blake (NAVY) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
5. Kaplan, Austin (PENN) def. Gutsche, Nicholas (NAVY) 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7-4)
6. Gaines, Alex (NAVY) def. Milbrandt, Mark (PENN) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1)